Six Flags sues Gerstlauer over fatal Texas Giant accident

Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014 8:34 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington is suing the German manufacturer of the Texas Giant, Gerstlauer, alleging the roller coaster train car from which a Dallas woman fell to her death last summer was defective and dangerous.

Read more from The Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 9:49 AM

I believe Six Flags has a case. Gerstlauer is responsible for the design of the restraint and control system that gave the "go" signal in a situation where the rider was not properly restrained, through not fault of her own or the ride host's.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:09 AM

Seems like somewhat of a slippery slope on Six Flag's part by saying that one of the products you offered was dangerous.

Also seems like a slippery slope to keep this in the news, when it very well could come down to the fact that operators weren't trained to look at where the lap bar was touching the guest. Doesn't make me feel confident about overall training if proper rider positioning isn't covered.

Last edited by Fun, Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:10 AM
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:19 AM

I don't think you can ask ride ops to judge whether or not the bar is touching in the right place. The manufacturer should know where it is going to contact and restrain the guests. If the bar is all the way down against the guest's torso then that should be it as far as the ride op is concerned.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:26 PM

Seems like somewhat of a slippery slope on Six Flag's part by saying that one of the products you offered was dangerous.

Indeed.

Separately, will Medusa Steel Coaster (awful name, by the way) still use Gerstlauer rolling stock?

Last edited by Richard Bannister, Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:26 PM
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:56 PM

No, Medusa is getting trains from RMC, just like Outlaw Run and Goliath.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 1:06 PM

Bakeman31092 said:

I don't think you can ask ride ops to judge whether or not the bar is touching in the right place.

True, but if the manual provided to the park indicated that the operator had to ensure the bar was touching a certain part of the body, I don't think Six Flags has a case here.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 1:25 PM

There's also something to be said about suing one of the most prominent coaster manufacturers out there. I can't imagine that Gerstlauer will be in any hurry to work with Six Flags again. I don't recall SF suing Intamin after the issues with the Superman rides

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:43 PM

They did.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:50 PM

Liability is a game of "sue EVERYONE with a pulse and a bank account, let the judge/jurors decide on how much contributory negligence belongs with each party" under the concept of joint liability. Of course, some states don't recognize that there may not be a single person or company to blame...in those cases, you're either liable or you're not.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 4:10 PM

PhantomTails said:

There's also something to be said about suing one of the most prominent coaster manufacturers out there. I can't imagine that Gerstlauer will be in any hurry to work with Six Flags again.

When you're selling multi-million euro attractions I think you'll sell to whoever is buying.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 4:27 PM

Right. I'm thinking it's probably Six Flags who won't be in any hurry.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 6:43 PM

Doesnt The Boss in St. Louis also use Gerstlauer trains ?

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 8:07 PM

PhantomTails said:

There's also something to be said about suing one of the most prominent coaster manufacturers out there. I can't imagine that Gerstlauer will be in any hurry to work with Six Flags again. I don't recall SF suing Intamin after the issues with the Superman rides

You are so mistaken. SF doesn't give a crap about the impact suing a manufacturer would have. In fact, they are DETERMINED to sue anyone else to a) offload the jury award, b) convince the public that they weren't at fault.

With the lawsuit that the family has pending, SF would happily so anyone to offload the judgment award. In this situation, from the evidence that's out there, SF isn't at fault. After the Hydro/Perilous Plunge and Darien Lake/SFNE incidents, it's the manufacturer's responsibility to determine the restraint system that will work in 100% of all cases, if the indicators say "go",

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Tuesday, February 18, 2014 8:07 PM
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 8:18 PM

I'm not sure if any of our actual lawyers are going to chime in, but for those of you who are interested in how this really might play out in an actual courtroom situation:

"Understanding Comparative Fault, Contributory Negligence and Joint & Several Liability" (all of these could come into play in this case, IMO).

http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2013/09/05/235755.htm

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, February 18, 2014 8:21 PM
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:27 PM

You mean there's actual lawyers here?
What's next,... doctors? Rocket scientists?

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:36 PM

^I often thought the Lemon Chill Guy was studying for the BAR between sales...

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014 8:16 AM

RCMAC said:

You mean there's actual lawyers here?
What's next,... doctors? Rocket scientists?

Right. Then you're gonna tell me the guy who runs the whole operation is a programmer who came up with the forums himself.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014 11:04 AM

Bakeman31092 said:

I don't think you can ask ride ops to judge whether or not the bar is touching in the right place. The manufacturer should know where it is going to contact and restrain the guests. If the bar is all the way down against the guest's torso then that should be it as far as the ride op is concerned.

I wouldn't trust a 6F ride operator to tell me the name of his babymomma, let alone proper operation of a multi million dollar piece of complex machinery. That's why it's all controlled by computer programming with all kinds of redundancy and fail-safes. All the op has to do is push a button and let the rocket surgeons who designed it take responsibility.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:40 PM

"Rocket surgeons?"..they're cross-breeding now?

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